Sponsored by Evia Events
This article is part of a series focusing on select companies who placed among WA's 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2017, as determined by employee surveys that measure their perceptions and satisfaction across 61 individual attributes within 10 employment categories.
Remember when CD-ROMs were cutting edge? Evia does. After all, it was a CD-ROM loaded up with presentation-ready bitmaps, animations, video, and music and voice clips that first put the company—then called Tri-Digital—on the digital media technology map in 1993.
What started out as an idea among three former co-workers to satisfy the demand for sharing cool digital media content is now transforming how global events are run, virtually and otherwise.
Evia strives to deliver an in-person event experience to those who can’t attend. Its full suite of products and services allow anyone to access event content anywhere in the world in real time or on demand.
Although the company is boutique—today, it has 34 employees—its client list includes some of our area’s biggest hitters, including Microsoft, Starbucks, Expedia, Amazon and Zillow. Notes one employee, Evia is a “small company with big clients and aspirations. [It has] top notch leadership and is always striving to make employees’ lives better.”
Like the events they support—which are held around the world—the staff of Evia are constantly on the road. But that does little to dampen the sense of camaraderie. “So many of us are out of the office travelling to events we are staffed on, that many times as a company we are all over the country, but we manage to stay connected and the office still feels like home,” says one employee who travels for business.
A Smile and a Cup of Coffee
Calling the company’s culture “welcoming and inviting,” one employee notes that Evia “encourages employees to thrive and rewards them when they do.” A colleague agrees, adding, “Every morning you walk into the office and you just feel happy to be at work. Everyone smiles and offers coffee. It’s just a great place to be.”
Of course, the perks go beyond java and a cheerful disposition.
The employees participate in charity events and races together, benefitting organizations including St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Pasado’s Safe Haven—a sanctuary for rescued animals. And every month they enjoy activities or outings together, such as taking in a Seattle Mariners game, dressing to the nines for a gala event, kayaking the Redmond slough or firing up the grill for a summer barbecue.
In addition, says one employee, “They provide ample outside-of-work benefits, including monthly department team-building budgets, which the departments can use as they see fit. Unlimited PTO and closing for the holidays (between Christmas and New Years) really shows that they focus on their employees overall well being and time with their families.”
Can I Be Frank?
Team members point to Evia’s strong executive team, led by President Hilary Laney, as one of the primary reasons the company is a great place to work, “I can walk into the president’s office and have a frank discussion about anything. I feel heard and valued,” says one employee.
Adds another, “Leadership truly cares for the employees and the business.”
One colleague notes that all of Evia’s “efforts and initiatives collectively have brought together a very talented group of employees who are really passionate about what we do. I've never worked anywhere where the passion for our company and industry is so visible in every employee. It clearly comes from the executive leadership team, who truly cares about the employees, which is what attracts such passionate people.”
Listening well is an attribute that employees repeatedly ascribe to Evia’s executive team. “Our leadership treats everyone in the company as an intellectual partner and is always open to hearing new ideas and collaborating, even on small things that management at most companies would just delegate to someone lower on the totem pole,” notes one coworker.
By truly listening to their team members, Evia’s leadership team allows each employee to feel comfortable in their role in the company.
“This is the only place I have ever worked where I truly felt like I could be myself and be fully supported in doing so,” summarizes one employee. “I could find my own path to success and be supported on the journey. It’s an incredible feeling and makes coming into work every day a joy. Your voice is always heard and considered in decision making.”
Connecting Through Content
Evia’s mission is to “unify professional people through access to relevant content.” The company believes in “creating community through content.”
Although the work environment is “laid back,” says one employee, “the expectation is still to provide the highest quality work for our customers. Our company does a great job of fostering a positive work environment.”
Another employee notes that “the leadership team really encourages the rest of the company to strive towards greatness and is there with them along every step of the way.”
The company is designed to inspire with standing workstations and multiple collaboration spaces in the open office area. And, one employee adds enthusiastically, it includes a “video capture booth and green screen area that can be set up in a pinch to have some creative team-building fun.”
Ultimately, employees at Evia thrive because, as one employee describes it, “Our office really lets people be themselves and be self-motivated. That's why they hired us in the first place, right? There is a high degree of performance and execution combined with a relaxed work environment. This is very important.”